Our team of insurance lawyers specialise in all areas of insurance litigation ranging from initial liability enquiries through to contested cases in the Supreme Court. We have expertise in cases ranging from small value claims right up to multi-million cases and act for major European and UK insurers and brokers as well as businesses and individuals.
The team at Trethowans is ‘very strong all round and valued for its high-quality legal services offered at competitive rates’ and has ‘a tremendous reputation in the south of England’. The team is also recommended for its ‘promptness and efficiency’ and ‘expertise in cross-border claims’.
We can help with:
- All areas of insurance litigation including defending personal injury and other liability claims;
- Helping control the cost of business insurance;
- Higher value claims that require legal action;
- First party disputes concerning insurance / indemnity cover issues; and
- Dealing with complaints before the Financial Ombudsman Service.
We pride ourselves in offering a responsive and cost effective business support service. We have a practical, hands-on approach, which is focused on providing a satisfactory solution at the earliest possible opportunity.
See below for more detail on our areas of expertise or call to speak to one of the team.
We have experience in dealing with a full range of road traffic accidents from low value personal injury claims that are contained within the RTA portal, to catastrophic injury claims with a substantial valuation of damages (see catastrophic claims for more information).
Where the claim presented is for a small sum and liability has been admitted we take steps to negotiate and settle the matter as swiftly as possible to avoid disproportionate legal costs being incurred by either party. If a larger valued claim is made we have a wide variety of tools at our disposal to ensure that the Claimant’s assertions are investigated fully and the medical evidence is reviewed in depth.
Our main objective is to ensure that we obtain the best result for our client whilst delivering a cost-effective resolution. Our team members are commercially aware and are sensitive to the ultimate goals of our business clients so we therefore strive to deal with all matters in an efficient, proactive and assertive manner.
We understand that the cost of credit hire claims has become an important issue for our clients in the motor insurance market over recent years and we have therefore remained focused on developing our knowledge and expertise in dealing with claims in this area.
We make sure that we keep abreast of the latest legal updates and cases involving credit hire in order that we can use and apply this information for the benefit of our clients.
We recognise that over the years credit hire has become somewhat of a niche area with significant case law developments from Dimond v Lovell and Clark v Ardington through to more recent cases such as Zurich v Umerji and Stevens v Equity. We are alive to key issues such as the need for hire, mitigation and impecuniosity and have access to experts who can advise the Court on rates where appropriate.
We are specialists in the international claims sector and have the knowledge and expertise to advise on a wide range of claims and related issues, whether these are based in the UK or abroad.
In recent years there have been several attempts to harmonise European laws in the personal injury and insurance litigation areas. The European Regulation known as ‘Rome II’ sets out a standard set of rules for determining which laws should apply when more than one country is involved. The European Communities (Rights against Insurers) Regulations (2002) mean that motor claims can be issued directly against an insurer. The Package Tours Regulations (1992) also allow certain claims to be pursued in the UK following an accident abroad.
Even with these recent developments, UK Courts are often required to consider and apply the laws of foreign jurisdictions when dealing with cases involving a cross-border element. A detailed knowledge of European jurisdictions is therefore essential when dealing with international claims. As specialists in this area, we have a wealth of experience in handling these matters and can provide you with the assistance and advice that you require.
Personal Injury including Catastrophic Claims
Personal injury claims, and particularly those of a high value which involve catastrophic injuries, cannot simply be dealt with on a production line. We approach claims on a case by case basis and respond to the needs and demands that each particular claim presents.
The issue of determining liability is particularly crucial in claims involving serious injuries, as an ongoing dispute can present a real barrier to ensuring that the Claimant’s needs are met.
Our initial role is to advise on the defences available, if any, and the realistic prospect of maintaining such arguments. If liability is deemed to fall with the Defendant then an early admission can lead to the Claimant obtaining early medical intervention which can often prevent the significant escalation in quantum that may otherwise occur.
The Rehabilitation Code sets out an objective to promote the use of rehabilitation and early intervention in the compensation process so that the injured person, as far as possible, makes the best and quickest possible recovery. This objective applies regardless of the severity of the injuries sustained, but is of particular importance where the injuries are complex or severe.
Where liability is accepted, the provision of rehabilitation can be extremely useful, both in terms of the Claimant’s recovery period and, ultimately, reducing the value of the claim if the Claimant’s recovery is significant.
We recognise that a key aspect of the process is the input of reliable, reputable experts. Accordingly, we can draw on a panel of medico-legal and other experts across the country. In maximum severity cases this may include those dealing with mental capacity issues as well as the need for Periodical Payment Orders.
Our ability to drive forward high value and complex cases is well proven and our success in doing so is reflected in the settlements that we have achieved.
Equine and Animal Claims
We have a wealth of experience in dealing with equine and animal claims.
Trethowans are members of the Equine and Animal Lawyers Association.
Claims of this type involve niche expertise, not least in relation to liability investigations.
In addition to the usual causes of action a sound knowledge of the Animals Act 1971 and associated case law is required.
Team members represented the successful party in the House of Lords in the leading case of Mirvahedy v Henley (2003) (the case which defined the responsibilities of keepers of animals under Section 2 of the Animals Act 1971). The team has subsequently developed a niche expertise in dealing with these cases.
See also Agricultural & rural claims for details of the team’s proven expertise in that area.
Agricultural and Rural
The team represent a number of insurance, business and landowner clients in connection with agricultural and rural disputes.
Areas covered by the team include the following:
- Crop destruction and crop spraying;
- Escapes from land;
- Animal sales;
- Veterinary negligence;
- Detention and sale of trespassing livestock.
See also Equine and Animal claims above for details of the team’s proven expertise in that area.
Our team has experience in defending employer’s liability claims and is focused on achieving the best settlement for our clients by balancing cost effectiveness and proportionality.
We deal with matters ranging from health and safety issues to claims presented by contractors. We respond to the needs of our clients and understand that a proactive approach is required. We help our clients to vigorously defend unmeritorious cases and we work to settle genuine claims at the earliest opportunity, often avoiding a lengthy litigation process.
We advise insurers as well as businesses who choose to self insure and therefore have a wide range of experience within the realm of Employer’s Liability which allows us to provide you with informed advice and suggest appropriate solutions.
We also recognise the importance of providing business clients with feedback from the claims experience which enables better systems to be implemented to avoid future claims.
With an increasing number of claims arising from trips and slips and other highways and occupiers liability cases our team has developed experience in a range of public liability claims.
We can provide advice to insurance companies and local authorities as well as businesses that may be facing difficulties regarding insurance cover. We understand that there is a need to be proactive when facing claims of this nature and we therefore consider the needs of our clients when determining whether an early settlement should be negotiated rather than facing a contested trial.
In addition to providing legal advice and services once a claim has been presented, we can also offer our clients specific advice on potential public liability issues to avoid problems occurring in the first place, and to ensure that there are proper procedures and strategies in place.
If your business supplies products to consumers, you need to make sure the products are safe. Failing to meet your responsibilities can have serious consequences. You could face legal action resulting in possible fines or even imprisonment. You could also be sued by anyone who has been injured or has suffered damage to personal property as a result of using your product.
The main responsibility falls on producers, manufacturers and importers to ensure that products are safe by:
- warning consumers about potential risks;
- providing information to help consumers understand the risks;
- monitoring the safety of products;
- taking action if a safety problem is found.
You need to take a pro-active approach to preventing safety problems.
Anyone who is harmed by an unsafe product could sue. They can begin their court case up to three years from the date of the injury. In some cases, they can even sue up to ten years after the product was sold.
With an increasing awareness of the Consumer Protection Act 1987, coupled with European action it is likely that cases of this type will become more common. Our team is able to provide advice in a clear, concise and commercial manner.